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San Francisco 3, Sanchez 3, The City 3, Us 2, Paerlzed 2, Campos 2, Joseph Armenia 1, Nexus 1, San Francisco State University 1, Realtors 1, Rearticulate 1, Castillo 1, Cohen 1, Abate 1, Mr. Gibner 1, John Gibner 1, Wiener 1, Christina 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    October 29, 2013
    8:00 - 8:31pm PDT  

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woman, a gay woman. i have had difficulties, but it's possible to live the life you want to live and we know that living in san francisco, it is possible to live the life that is for you to live. i thank you very much for this award and i appreciate very much the honor. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you, an congratulations. colleagues we have a number of commendations after our 3:00 p.m. special order.
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>> items 45-48. constitute for public hearing for the condominium for property located on 49 sanchez street. item 46 is the motion an approving a waiver or adjustment or reduction of fee, and item 47 and 48. >> thank you colleagues. today we have an appeal of the condominium located on sanchez. the standard for this appeal are as follows.. the board of supervisors may wave a fee between the impact of the development and the amount of the fee charged. the appellant submits the burden. given this is actually the first appeal the board has considered. i
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would like to ask our department city attorney if you have additional advice to provide on this appeal. >> sure. deputy city attorney john gibner. in june the city allowed a condominium project. it can convert a building to condominium after payment of a fee that is setforth in the ordinance. understate law and the constitution when the city imposes development fees such as this, the city must base those fees on a finding that there is a nexus between the amount of the fee charged and the impact of the fee. so before the board adopted the condominium oh conversion ordinance in june, the city
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hired a consultant on the impact of the affordable house is in the city. that study was part of the board's packet when you considered the condominium conversion ordinance in june. that study conclude that there is a nexus between condominium conversion and the need for affordable housing. that converting two condominiums creates additional need for affordable housing in the city and concluded that for condos that are worth $300,000 that convert the impact on the city in terms of affordable housing need is $21,000 and the impasse
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of conversion goes up depending on the value of the condominium oh as the value of the condominium oh goes up. the ordinance relied on that study and adopted as part of it's finding of that study and applied a $20,000 per unit fee for conversion. the fee can be reduced depending on how long the owners were seeking to convert being in the lottery, so in the case of the appeal before you today, i believe that it's $8,000 per unit. the ordinance also created a right to appeal where an applicant for a condominium conversion can appeal to the board and challenge the nexus finding and ask that the board reduce or wave or adjust the fee for that particular applicant. that is the matter that you have before you today. now, in this appeal
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the board can reduce wave or adjust the fees that applies to this applicant but only if it finds that there is no any relationship or nexus between the impact of the conversion and the amount of the fees that's been charged. the applicant here has the burden to present substantial evidence to support the appeal including comparable technical information. and the board cannot reduce or wave the fee based solely on a finding of financial personal hardship. that type of waiver is not allowed under the ordinance. and i imagine you will have additional questions perhaps for me, perhaps for the department as the hearing progresses. >> thank you very much. mr. gibner. colleagues, i propose we conduct the hearing ways typically do. first the
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appellant will have 10 minutes to present her case for the appeal for the condominium conversion fee and next the public can speak for 2 minutes and following that relevant city departments including on housing and others will have 10 minutes for presenting their analysis on the condominium fee and those supporting the application of the fee may have up to 2 minutes and the appellants may have 3 minutes for rebuttal. any objections to this proceeding? if not, why don't we hear from the appellant. okay. >> good afternoon, everybody.
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my name is christina. i am the person leasing on 849 sanchez street. what i'm trying to, based on the nexus, i of course have no chance on having you understand what my situation specifically to me because i have a disability not only of -- but i need you to understand what my situation has been to first find a house and second keep it. first of all i'm having a hard time understanding why the city would have somebody like me pay an impact fee of thousands of dollars to help future
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affordable housing for people with low income needs. i'm one of those persons. i have had the misfortune of having a car accident in 1993 and out of that car accident i won a very small settlement. this money i saved for 3 years that i was in graduate school here in san francisco. while i was in graduate school i lived in the apartment that has to be accessible in san francisco state university. so i was safe. i was an accessible room and i can get in and out with my wheelchair. however during those three 3 years i had the money saved from this settlement. i was looking really hard and working really hard with realtors who a lot of them gave up on me because it was so difficult to find an accessible home here in the
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city. of course my nervous were really kicking in and after 3 years i finished graduate school. i finally found a home which was a tic option on 89 sanchez street. and it was a ground level apartment. this home surprising to me was actually at the sidewalk was really where my wheelchair was and i was able to get inside the house and even see the house before i purchased it. i didn't have to make any kind of renovations or put a ramp or nothing. i was very lucky. so on that note, i just want to say that i have worked extra
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hard to get an education and i as a disabled person refuse to depend on the government. i wanted to be independent in every angle of life possible including financially. so, the despite that i was able to have this house and able to give all the money i have saved with this settlement that i received as a down payment, i was extremely happy. you cannot believe how happy i was because for people with disability and specifically for people that live in a wheelchair, i am paralyzed, my legs are paralyzed. i cannot take a step. my hands are paerlzed.
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i know what they found that there is no economical hardship that will wave my $8,000. it's not really the economic cal hardship that i'm trying to point to all of you out here. if i were in an economical hardship, which i am, it's mostly because of my disability. i obtained my masters degree and eligible to be a professor in a school. however, if i take that job, the system would cutoff all my benefits and i rely on a person to get me out of the bed every morning to give me a shower and to get me going with life assuming that life will be on my side that day. that's how i
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live my life very positively and very happy that i'm able to have a roof over my head and my mom is back there in puerto rico feeling safe that i'm there now. i guess i don't have to explain to you how people with disabilities so much likely that we will find a job and that employers will under that we are able to do our jobs and that we have our brains intact and despite that, it's very challenging because we have disabilities. it doesn't matter. at this point i'm living off 10 hours a week of work that i can luckily to do at home. paid at $14 an hour. i have to live off that because if i earn $1,000 a month they
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cut me completely off my benefits which i cannot live without a caregiver. i cannot. i'm completely paerlzed. with my situation they basically said it was just an economic hardship, but it's much more than that. it's being disabled and i feel maybe the law missed that some of the tenants were in tic and some tenants might be disabled and having an up
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the -- tough time of finding offeredable housing in the city. my appeal is to appeal to your hearts and to understand that yeah, my economic hardship it's not something out of choice. it's purely based on my disability and it's my reality right now and i find completely it's my opinion, right? so i find completely contradictory that i have to pay at this point $8,000 that i don't have. i have to lend it from my family which i have to payback for future low income housing that i might go when i'm not planning to leave that home when it took me 3 years to find anytime, maybe when i'm dying, maybe i will leave my home.
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that's it. it took me 3 years to find it. i want you to know that i feel and i don't think i can speak for every disabled person but at least the people with the disability that they are bound to a wheelchair, that it's almost impossible to find accessible housing. we are left a lot of us are left leaving in shelters, living in nursing homes. i am proud to have worked to find this house, the present reality is a present reality and not a future low income person. that's what i am. i am a low income person. the impact fees for a future case and i feel i'm talking about a present situation. so, if not merely an economic hardship, it's based on my
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disability and everything that comes with it. so, in i way, if anybody has any questions, i will be happy to answer. >> thank you for your statements. supervisor wiener? >> thank you, i just have a few questions. miss castillo, thank you for being here today. so i just want to clarify a few things that you did submit. you are currently living primarily on ssdi? about $7200 a year. about $9,000 a year? >> yes. >> and you make another 7,000 a year part-time? so you are making under $20,000 a year? >> yeah.
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>> and now your unit is accessible which is challenging to find in this town, right? >> yes. it's completely accessible. it's basically at the level of the sidewalk. >> and you are quadriplegic? >> quadriplegic means i have paralysis of my four limbs and i have paralysis in my fingers. >> okay. now, despite your low income, your unit is affordable to you. i understand that you have roommates living with you? >> yes. the way pay for my house is i have two roommates. they help me pay for the mortgage and the hoa and plus some months i can pay for it depending on how much i make with my other job, but it
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leaves me with nothing so my mother helps me pay for the remaining. >> okay. and in terms of your life, i think you mentioned that the chances of you leaving this unit seem pretty -- >> 0 to none. >> yeah. okay. and in addition i know there was a -- we'll have some questions about this later. you do not have the option of just staying in the lottery and avoiding the fee that way because of the version of the legislation passed by the board? >> yes. the lottery is over so this is the last chance. >> great. thank you so much. i appreciate your answers. >> any more questions,
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colleagues? thank you very much for your presentation. let me ask if there are members who wish to speak on behalf of the appellant. please lineup. >> members of the board, director san francisco open government. i think what we have here after i reviewed online what was available with regards to this case and also listen together appellant is the law of unintended consequences. it's a situation where you pass a law of achieving some good social purpose and end up hurting a member of the group you are trying to help. i think this is something which should have been as part of the law an exemption that if this was done for the purpose of helping people, then someone in that very same class is going to be harmed by the law, there should be an exemption for it. i don't know if this was an oversight,
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but it sounds like from reviewing the documents and looking at the law and what it was intended to do and listen together appellant, it's exactly what we have here. it really makes absolutely no sense to say theoretically we are going to do this, we are going to pass this law, we are going to have a fee to help an unnamed person at some undetermined time in the future and do so at the expense of someone in that very same group by harming them. i think that would be exactly what would happen here if this was allowed to go forward. the appellant would be harmed and shhh e would be the very person. i this i the rational might be, if this was intended to help someone and they are a member of this group, why not an abate the fee and use that as justification for saying we are helping the very person by an abating this fee, but the fee was intended to help. >> thank you, next speaker. >> my name is joseph armenia.
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i'm one of the cohost with christina and i have been living above her close to 6 years. christina's life is not an easy one. when i first read this, i'm the one doing most of the accounting. we kind of misread what the waiver condition was. when you read it you put it together. we were very positive about it. it was later on that it was pointed out that the legal bases, the nexus. it was it doesn't look too good now. i find it very hard for a city like san francisco especially how progressive and wanting to help those in need will make somebody like christina pay $8,000 which she has used inform are a multiple of other
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things. i find it very hard that we are doing that to her and again i think like my previous person said a law of unintended consequences. it's not giving her much of a leg to stand on and as' nexus to talk about some people will not be able to afford it but the chance of the lottery and the people paying the fee. however this ordinance did not provide for the lottery. it's suspended from the lottery so it gave no outcome for the people in need economically and with disabilities. the ordinance just left that out entirely. i think not all home owners are rich millionaires. i work for the city and i had the occasion of having to get a call to send and ambulance for christina
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herself because she has many medical needs. >> supervisor kim do you have a question in >> i don't know if i can address the question to the member who addressed this board. i want to know why this person is applying for the condominium conversion. what is the rational behind it? >> would you like to answer the question. if you can go e to the microphone so we can all hear you. >> my rational is the same as in our case for example, we do not qualify for, we were not able to qualify for refinance. she would be able to get her own mortgage at a much better rate and she'll be able to have a better life and have ownership on her own and also it's pretty much when you buy
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into this it's one of the conditions that we are all going to separate as soon as possible in the apartment. >> i just want to rearticulate, the motivation for applying for the bypass thereby paying the fee is financial. if you are able to do this bypass your interest rates will potentially go down because you have divided mortgages and you could potentially sell at a higher value because they have divided? >> she put 40 or 50 percent down. the other neighbor 10 percent down. she would be the one to get the most out of it because her mortgage would be 50 percent of the value of her unit. she had to put that much down because of her situation. very few people were willing to get into a tac with her. >> do you believe that by being
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able to obtain this bypass that there will be a potential of real dollars by your ability to convert to condominiums? >> yes. to everybody who is in that condominium conversion. >> thank you. >> supervisor campos? >> thank you mr. president, this is a question for the appellant if i may through chair. it is my understanding from the record that we have here that the law does allow a tic owner to request a fee deferral based on demonstrated economic hardship? >> if i can ask the appellant if you would please come up to the microphone? >> thank you very much. so it's my understanding that the law does allow at the offset at the beginning of the process for a tic owner to request the fee
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deferral based on economic hardship and what we have here in the notes is that at least cord together department of public works that you did not pursue the option of asking for a fee deferral based on economic hardship. i was wondering if you can speak to that if that is true and why? >> it is true. the reason why i didn't apply for the deferral is because the whether it's now or later, it's the same. i cannot afford such an amount of money. so it doesn't matter whether it's now or later. >> well, i guess that's precisely the question that if you cannot afford it, the law allows you to file for a deferral economic hardship. so why not file for it early on?
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>> because i will be in this situation permanently. i'm not going to walk anytime soon. >> that's not the question. did you know that you can actually apply for a fee deferral so that you didn't have to pay based on the economic hardship that you are facing and why didn't you do that? >> i know, but like i said, the deferral means like eventually you will to have pay for it. what i'm trying to explain is that, if this is or an impact fee for future low income owners such as me, like i was before and i am still now, it's contradictory why would i have to pay for that even if it's deferred to later on. why would i have to pay for something a low income owner in the future when right now i'm facing so many such similar difficulties. >> did you have that conversation with the city to sort of ask exactly what it
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means to get the deferral and sort of what it would mean in terms of how long before you had to pay? >> no. i didn't. >> that's what i'm trying to understand if there is the possibility for that fee to be deferred, why based on hardship, why that did not happen since the law actually allows for that. >> to be very honest with you, i didn't feel like these two things, like what i told you that the $8,000 is an impact fee for future low income for what i'm going to cost to a future low income person looking for a house. but i'm one of those people whether now or in the future. no. 2, it's money that i don't have right now because of my current situation and this situation
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won't change anytime soon. won't change ever. i'm paralyzed forever. i have this condition forever. i have a difficult time finding a job forever. it's nothing that will change. and for a deferral to be put in places for me to pay it eventually. so, this money i put together with my family 's help and i will have to pay it back. so there is the deferral right there. >> thank you for that. that's a question to follow up with city in terms of when you would have to pay because if the payment happens when you sell and you are not selling, then the payment doesn't have to happen. >> supervisor cohen? >> okay. i want to pick up a
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little bit i think supervisor campos was trying to go. maybe we'll direct the question to the city attorney's office. could you define for us or layout the deferral plan? thank you. >> john from the city attorneys office. the deferral program that's recognized in this law allows an applicant to request that dpw defer or hold off on collection of payment of the fee between the time of application and the time that the map is finally approved by the city which is, the approval of the map by the city allows it to be recorded and that allows the refinancing and the creation of the condominium process. so lend to that

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